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Coffee in The Mother City.

A look at Cape Town’s coffee culture

The South African coffee industry has experienced a resurgence in recent years as its coffee culture continues to grow and the demand for quality coffee rises. Cape Town is seen as one of the world’s coffee capitals, evident by the many trendy coffee shops and venues in the city. In fact, the city’s coffee culture has helped coffee-centred businesses in Cape Town weather the economic storms of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown restrictions.

Cape Town’s coffee heritage

“South Africa was a, if not THE, stopping point on the old trade routes between Asia and Europe - Asian coffee shaping the local tastes of Cape Town’s coffee culture. When Robusta coffee lost its value, coffee traders used to release their coffee load in South Africa not to lose more money. However, near the end of the 20th century, coffee importation increased drastically and we have seen growth in South African coffee culture as well as an increase in trendy coffee shops opening up,” says Yassir Corpataux, Coffee Ambassador Nespresso MEA. “It’s this specific heritage and Cape Town’s love for coffee that led to its inclusion in the Nespresso World Explorations coffee range, a collection that celebrates diverse coffee cultures across the globe. We selected the cities we believed could tell new and exciting coffee stories, from the everyday tastes and aromas to the way each cup is enjoyed, and Cape Town was an obvious choice.”

Local coffee preferences

“My love for coffee set me on a journey to further explore the coffee cultures in Cape Town. I found that South Africans are very particular about their coffee-drinking habits. We are all about intensity, which includes dark roast or robust flavours,” says influencer, Kiara Kittner, who has partnered with Nespresso for the World Explorations launch.

The legacy of the Robusta can still be seen today as the Capetonian coffee taste has been shaped by Robusta (and chicory in time of scarcity) and is always paired with a bit of Arabica for a smoother blend, which is testament to the new Cape Town Envivo Lungo. Nespresso’s research also shows that 81% of coffee-drinkers in South Africa pair their coffee with milk and 53% add sugar.

“While I enjoy my coffee with oat milk and no sugar, the majority of South African coffee-drinkers enjoy drinking their coffee with milk and sugar. While Capetonians seem to enjoy coffee paired with a croissant or a buttermilk rusk, I was recently introduced to the idea of pairing Nespresso’s Cape Town Envivo Lungo with a koesister, and it added a whole new dimension to my coffee experience,” adds Kittner.

Cape Town in a cup

“Through our World Explorations range, we invite coffee lovers to discover and taste the diverse coffee rituals in some of the world’s most vibrant cities, starting with the Mother City herself,” says Corpataux. “Cape Town Envivo Lungo encapsulates the soul of Cape Town and its coffee scene, to be enjoyed from the comfort of the home at the touch of a button. Just like the city, it’s named after, the Cape Town Envivo Lungo is bold and full of character. It’s Nespresso’s most intense Lungo - full-bodied with a punchy bitter note and woodsy aroma. Unfold the coffee’s smooth roasted notes with a splash of milk to enjoy it like a local.”

The Nespresso World Explorations coffee range, with infinitely recyclable capsules made from 80% recycled aluminium, is available online and at Nespresso boutiques.

Images by Kiara Kittner

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